By Clay NewcombScent conditioning is simple. It means that you use commercial scents every time you bait. The scent is the strongest smelling part of the baiting routine. It broadcasts to the bears that the bait is fresh. Like Pavolov’s dogs that salivated whenever he entered the room after he conditioned them to feeding times, a well-conditioned bear is no different when he smells the exaggerated scent.
By Clay NewcombMany regions of the country regulate the amount of time before season that you bait bears. Some places out West allow you only to bait seven days before the season, while in Arkansas we can bait 30 days before the season. In other places there is no time limit and you could bait all year if you wanted to. However, what is most advantageous if your goal is to kill a mature bear on opening day? There are many pros and cons.
By Joel RiottoHuge clouds of smoke billowed skyward, blacking out the sun, as a monster wildfire burnt its way across the boreal forest of Northern Alberta, forcing over 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray to flee their homes. This would become the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history and probably the costliest disaster in Canadian history. For the next few days I watched the news for updates. The graphic videos taken by Canadian news reporters showed the massive exodus as the fire destroyed thousands of homes and forced the evacuation of several cities, including Fort McMurray. I watched the Royal Canadian Mounted Police escort hundreds of vehicles south, along Highway 63, the only route into and out of Fort McMurray. I recalled the many times I had driven up and down that same road going into, and returning from, a wilderness bear camp. The glowing embers raining down on the hoods of automobiles in the evacuation convoy was surreal and eerily beautiful. The Canadian newspaper, “The Guardian” reported that the fire began on May 3, 2016 and that by May 16th, it had spread across 930 square miles of Canadian bush and was heading towards Saskatchewan.
By Clay NewcombBaiting black bear can be one of the most exciting and effective ways to hunt them. If you’ve never ran your own baits from start to finish, then you might have a hard time appreciating how much work it can be, but also how rewarding success is. The murmur that baiting bear is easy is a farce told by those who’ve never done it themselves. Targeting older mature male bears over bait is a significantly underrated challenge.
From a Minnesota Veteran
By Gary LewisBear hunters subscribe to a number of theories about why their baits work and there is no one best way to invite a bruin to dinner. Here's Brian Bachman's baiting theory, based on 35 years of experience in his neck of the woods.
2020 was a record year of people getting into the outdoors. That could make it a little difficult to find cheap bear bait for the barrel. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned vet a little preparation goes a long way, start thinking about bait now.